Monday, February 20, 2012

NO Mashed Potatoes: SUB Creamy Cannellini Beans

 Until recently, I didn’t believe that anyone was immune to mashed potatoes.  Unabashedly, they deny heaping dinner platters of soft, pillowy goodness I find irresistible.   How could such a quintessential comfort food be overlooked or undervalued?

Under a critical lens, I discovered the void of nutrients and healthful qualities. Mashed potatoes were mostly filler and fluff.  For the 33g of carbohydrates you take in from 1 cup of mashed potatoes, you only gain 4g of protein and 3g of fiber.  What the fluff?!  So, although it may be soul food sacrilege, I gave the classic comfort food a wholesome, healthy makeover using Cannellini beans.
In half the time, using the same food processing tools you would use to make regular mashed potatoes, you can quadruple the protein and fiber simply by substituting Cannellini beans.  With 19g of protein and 13g of fiber per 1 cup, it was worth the calories and carbs.  Plus, by adding herbs and garlic to the mix, the taste allowed you to forgive the fact that it was non-traditional. 

Beans are trendy – hummus, anyone? It’s just chickpeas! So why not try out a new creamy bean recipe.  You can have it however you like.  I ate it hot, as a side dish to grilled flank steak.  I ate it cold, as a dip for julienned strips of crunchy carrot and fresh red pepper.  I spread it on toast.  I scooped it with chips and pretzels.  There’s truly no wrong way to eat it.  So whether you’ve only got 20 minutes between classes, or you just aren’t in the mood for ‘taters tonight, this is the go-to for you!   
Mashed Cannellini Beans (Dip, Spread, Side Dish…etc.)

1 can (15oz) cannellini beans, drained (reserve liquid) and rinsed
1-2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp ground sage
½ tsp rosemary, finely chopped
1 T fresh parsley or cilantro, finely chopped

1.       Drain beans, reserve liquid.  Rinse beans.
2.       In food processor, combine beans, 1 T olive oil, garlic, sage, rosemary, and cilantro.  Blend on high speed.
3.       Continue to add bean liquid and/or olive oil depending on your preference of texture and taste (olive oil will impart stronger flavor than bean liquid).
4.       Blend to desired consistency.

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